Formed in 1995, the Journal Square Restoration Corporation (JSRC), is a private, not-for-profit corporation representing business and commercial property owners and institutional interests in the district. It was designated by the City of Jersey City to operate the Journal Square Special Improvement District (SID), the largest of four special improvement districts in the city. Together the JSRC and the City are leading the way toward a commercial renaissance of this regional business, cultural and transportation center at the heart of Jersey City, New Jersey’s largest city, and Hudson County, the state’s most urbanized county.
The JSRC is one of the largest of New Jersey’s 80 SIDs. Within the district, business and property owners levy a self-imposed tax to finance improvements in the district.
The JSRC operates within a city-designated Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ). Major benefits to qualified businesses includes sales tax exemption for business purchases, employee tax credits for each local resident hired, and sales tax reduction for certified retailers. The UEZ is administered by the City’s Economic Development Corporation.
The JSRC’s annual work plan, which averages close to 2 million dollars annually, funds district-wide advocacy for the improvement of the district as well as additional maintenance and security programs to supplement both private and public services to the district. The work plan also includes year-round community outreach and marketing programs. The work plan is funded by the SID assessment, private funding and matching grants of UEZ funds approved by the City Council of Jersey City.
The JSRC, in cooperation with the City of Jersey City, also developed a $5.3 million Capital Improvement Plan, underwritten by a groundbreaking combination of federal, state and city monies that brought dramatic physical changes to the Square, starting in the Fall of 1999. The major reconstruction project included a new pedestrian plaza, a spectacular central fountain, new lighting fixtures, street signs, brick paved sidewalks, and landscaping throughout the district.
The JSRC is governed through a volunteer board representing a veritable “Who’s Who” of the area’s business, retail, and institutional community working in close cooperation with the City of Jersey City and the Port Authority of NY/NJ.
The JSRC has a professional staff – currently headed by a district administrator – to guide and oversee the day-to-day activities of the organization, and to work closely with district businesses and owners, and to coordinate closely with both City and County representatives.
The staff oversees the maintenance, security and other programs of the JSRC. The staff also provides day-to-day advocacy on behalf of the district, to ensure that the district is safe and clean.